Life & Style

Dog smuggling from Russian and Europe under scanner at IGI airport

July 31, 2017 08:19 AM

NEW DELHI: Next time you land at IGI from an eastern European destination or Russia, don't panic if your checked-in luggage takes a long time to arrive.

"These dogs are sedated, they are hungry and when they are made to fight they often end up killing the opponent," said the source, adding that the department was probing the cases to end the menace. Any passenger who plans to bring a pet has to obtain a certificate from the authorities in order to import the pet.

Customs authorities may be scanning your bags for any signs of dogs tucked away in suitcases. Cases have emerged of passengers trying to smuggle in dogs stuffed in suitcases. "The dogs are sedated or stunned and put in bags," said a source. They are sometimes stuffed in between clothes and other items to mask them during scanning.

"The animal goes through a lot of suffering. It is really painful to see them stuffed in bags," said the source.

Last year, customs authorities managed to intercept several passengers trying to smuggle in pregnant dogs in a similar fashion. "These are some exotic breeds and they are sold in the local markets at a premium," said the source.

One flyer was detained after a dog was found stuffed in her handbag. Authorities had hoped the practice would stop but it has resumed this year with the detection of new cases.

"We keep a close watch on flights from Russia and those which arrive from eastern Europe," said the source. He said organized syndicates were at work but the customs authorities have been able to thwart their efforts.

Customs sources said efforts are made to smuggle in several other breeds for "dog fights", which are popular in parts of Punjab and in some farm houses in the capital. They said investigations are on, involving various agencies to establish the trail.

"These dogs are sedated, they are hungry and when they are made to fight they often end up killing the opponent," said the source, adding that the department was probing the cases to end the menace. Any passenger who plans to bring a pet has to obtain a certificate from the authorities in order to import the pet.

In several cases customs officials have found that the same certificate was being recycled. "We have come across several cases where an attempt to recycle the same certificate was made. Our officers nabbed them each time," said the source.

Senior revenue department officials said they are probing all the cases and are trying to find out the end beneficiaries of this smuggling racket.

 

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